United States District Judge for Southern New York Jed Rakoff has released a scathing letter condemning the Department of Justice for not holding individuals accountable for Wall Street’s financial wrongdoing.
Instead, as he noted in his letter released on Tuesday, the Justice Department has shifted in the past several years to prosecute companies instead of individuals for wrongdoing.
"The failure of the government to bring to justice those responsible for such a massive fraud speaks greatly to weaknesses in our prosecutorial system that need to be addressed," Rakoff said.
While an array of top companies have been prosecuted for the 2007-2009 financial crisis, no top Wall Street executive has been held to account yet. As the statute of limitations for most of the criminal violations is about to pass, nothing can be done to prosecute any suspected executives once it expires.
Rakoff, who was appointed by Bill Clinton’s administration in 1996, cited a lack investigatory resources and an over-emphasis on bringing cases against companies rather than individuals. In response, a Department of Justice spokeswoman relaeased a statement saying that the DOJ is "aggressively working" on several ongoing investigations.